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Perham fire dept. arsenol boosted by Walter estate

A great contributor to his community, George Walter continued giving back after his Jan. 25 death.

Former Otter Tail County Commissioner Walter, who also served in enumerable civic and volunteer capacities over this 88 years, contributed $5,000 to the Perham Volunteer Fire Department, through the Walter estate.

For Fire Chief Tracy Schmidt and the crew of firefighers--as well as all those served by the department--the Walter donation could save valuable seconds, and lives, at an accident scene.

The money was invested in various extrication equipment for "Jaws of Life" operations at accident scenes.

"Forty percent of our call volume is car accident related," said Chief Schmidt, adding that the equipment will enhance and accelerate the process when extracting victims from car wreckage.

A specialized rescue jack system enables emergency crews to stabilize the vehicle so it is safe to work around.

The Walter donation enabled the department to bring "value-added" capabilities to an accident scene, said Schmidt.

The department now has nearly $30,000 in specialized emergency extraction equipment in its arsenal.

In vehicles and trucks, the department's fleet is valued at about $1.6 million, noted Schmidt.

George Walter was First District County Commissioner; president from 1980-83 of the Otter Tail County Historical Society; President of Lutheran Brotherhood in 1996; OTWCAC Board for 32 years; Minnesota State Health Board; President of St. James Manor; President of the Hospital Board in Perham; Perham Pioneer Festival President; lifetime member of Veteran's of Foreign Wars and American Legion plus a charter member of the new Veterans Museum in Perham.